October (film)

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Date: 1927

Region: Europe

Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion

Medium: Film Video


October film.jpg

Artist: Sergeii Eisenstein

Confronting Bodies: Russian government

Dates of Action: 1927

Description of Artwork: October was commissioned for the tenth anniversary of the Bolshevik revolution.

The Incident:In Russia, the censorship of Eisenstein's films began with October (1927). The film was only allowed a limited public screening and a campaign against it was launched because the film did not glorify Stalin and contained repeated mentions of Stalin's rival Trotsky. After this, objection to Eisentein's cinematic methods by Stalin (who believed movies were good only if they were "intelligible to the masses") prevented Eisenstein from being able to complete a film for a while. The film was altered because it failed to glorify Stalin. Stalin also had all references to Trotsky removed. The Old and the New and Bezhin Meadow were two movies Eisenstein could not complete because of these objections.

Results of Incident: Eisenstein continued to make films, however, they were subject to the scrutiny of the Communist party. In 1948 Eisenstein died from a heart attack after the creative frustration and personal attacks became too much for him to bear.

Source: Censorship, A World Encyclopedia, ed. D. Jones